HIV community leaders warn Australia in danger of following Canada’s Indigenous HIV epidemic

Executive Director of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations, Don Baxter, says “The pre-conditions in Australia now are quite similar to Canada in the 1990s-a rapid increase in injecting drug use in Indigenous communities whose overwhelming focus on serious immediate health challenges meant a tardy, patchy response to the threat of HIV in those communities”, Baxter said.

That situation saw HIV infections among Indigenous Canadians rise from 3.7% in 1979-1998 to a dramatic 23.3% in1998-2007.

Mr Baxter is attending the 18th International AIDS Conference in Vienna this week at which a more detailed analysis will be presented.

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